Slain actor Johnny Wactor's friends push for arrests; DA says police 'have a number of leads'


(LOS ANGELES) -- Family and friends of slain actor Johnny Wactor gathered at the downtown Los Angeles site where Wactor was shot to death to push for arrests in the unsolved case.

"I'm here because one of the best men -- if not the best man -- I've ever known, was tragically and brutally taken from this earth," Wactor's friend, Micah Parker, said at Wednesday's emotional news conference. "He was taken from his mother, his brothers, his extended family, his friends and his fans."

Wactor, a former "General Hospital" actor, was shot "without provocation" around 3:25 a.m. on May 25, after he ended his shift at a bar and walked to his car, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

He was confronted by three people who had his car "raised up with a floor jack and were in the process of stealing the catalytic converter," police said in a statement.

Wactor was with a female co-worker, and he immediately stepped in front of her to try to protect her, according to his family and friends.

"They had a mask on and they pulled out a gun," Wactor's friend, Colin Flynn, told ABC News. "And from what I understand, Johnny literally stood in between himself and his colleague. And the shooter just pulled the trigger and ran away."

In a message to the culprits, Parker vowed, "We are going to find you."

"You do not get to terrorize our streets, stealing and killing with impunity anymore," Parker said.

"To the LAPD, who are out there risking their lives every day, who are here with us today, I first want to say thank you," Parker said. "But I also implore you to please -- not rest, do not relent, until these three killers are brought to justice."

Investigators "have a number of leads" in the case, Joseph Iniguez, the LA district attorney’s chief deputy, said at Wednesday's news conference.

"We're working with LAPD. Without commenting on the specific tools, I can tell you that the investigation is very active. We have our best lawyers on the case working with LAPD, and that's our Major Crimes Division," he said.

"I loved my brother," the actor's soft-spoken brother, Grant Wactor, added at the news conference. "It was something that none of us expected. He was 37 years old. ... It hurts."

Johnny Wactor's family lives in South Carolina. But his friends are in LA and Grant Wactor said his family wants to make LA a safer city for them.

Parker demanded that city and state leaders protect their residents, and he led a march to LA City Hall after the news conference.

"It could've been one of us," Parker said. "And it will be one of us if public safety is not prioritized in this city now."

LA City Council member Kevin de León urged anyone with information to come forward.

"Your tip, no matter how small it may seem, could be the key to solving this case and preventing further violence," he said.

Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 1:53PM by Emily Shapiro, ABC News Permalink